Teriyaki Chicken Burger

Summer time is burger time, and now that I have a meat grinder, its that much more fun for me to experiment with different kinds of burgers. After seeing these Pacific Rim Burgers, I knew I had to try something similar. Plus, it had been a while since I did much with chicken (we’ve been eating more beef lately), so it seemed like a fun change. So I took that recipe in a similar direction and made a teriyaki chicken burger.

Teriyaki Chicken Burger

I really enjoyed this–the burgers had a nice, tangy-but-sweet teriyaki flavor, with a good mix of peppers and light heat to them. The texture, something I was curious about (never dealt with ground chicken before), was also thankfully quite nice. The sweetness to the teriyaki also made it easier to get a good caramelization on the outside of the burgers from the high heat of the grill, which made it that… click to read more…

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Chicken & Shrimp Jambalaya

I’ve never been to New Orleans, but have always been smitten with its cuisine. Ingredient-wise, it seems simple and unassuming, but the opinions and passion about the right way to do it–well that’s another story. Whatever the case, its all delicious to me. I’ve only come close to doing a Cajun/Creole dish before, borrowing some of the style/flavor, but not going all out. I felt long overdue to actually try a real dish, so I opted for one of the well known stars: jambalaya.

Chicken & Shrimp Jambalaya

Jambalaya has its roots in paella. The core idea: its a rice dish with a very strongly flavored stock, a hearty mix of proteins (e.g. in my case, chicken, shrimp, and andouille sausage), and a very zesty blend of herbs, spice, and of course, the Holy Trinity (pepper, onion, celery). It sounds deceptively simple–almost kind of plain, but then you smell it and taste it, and its another story entirely.

This was… click to read more…

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Indian-Inspired Barbecue Chicken

Every now and then, I have odd cravings that don’t jive with one another, so something new is born. In this case, I wanted Indian and barbecue. There just isn’t much cross-over in that realm (as far as I know). My compromise? A whole chicken, halved, marinated tandor style, smoked, and then slathered with a tangy, strongly spiced sauce that borrows from both barbecue and Indian cuisine for style and flavor.

In reality, this is quite simple and that’s why it’s so darn good (but such is barbecue). The chicken is slowly smoked–richly flavorful, crispy skin, and surprisingly tangy from a simple marinade. Plus, whole chicken is the best (I always love a good roast chicken).

What made this different was the sauce glazed on at the end. It’s a simple barbecue sauce, but tinged with a generous helping of Indian flavors–cinnamon, cardamom, tamarind, fenugreek, cilantro, etc. The total combination worked wonderfully and had me licking my fingers clean.… click to read more…

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Mexican Inspired Paella Verde

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love paella. This Spanish cousin-of-risotto leaves itself wide open to modification and reinterpretation, and so in keeping with my recent interest in Mexican flavors, I decided to focus this paella on a bunch of my favorite green Mexican produce, grabbing peppers, limes, avocados, and tomatillos before seeing where this took me.

Mexican Inspired Paella Verde

I was originally worried this dish would come out almost too green in color, but instead, the rich, chili flavored stock colored the rice with a fantastic brown/amber that made the other components of the paella really pop out visually (and when it comes to paella, appearance matters since you typically serve it straight from the pan).

Discussions about appearance aside, what about the flavor? The paella was delicious! It had a surprisingly full, earthy, nutty, solid foundational flavor brought by a rich chili-centric stock. The tomatillos added pockets of sweet/sour tanginess while the… click to read more…

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Chicken Biryani

Biryani is probably one of my wife’s favorite Indian dishes. For the longest time, I didn’t really understand biryani. To me, it just seemed like somewhat spiced, brown rice with dry bits of meat thrown in. If that’s been your experience, I promise, there’s much better biryani out there–deep, complex, tangy flavors, tender chicken, and enough mixed in so it doesn’t feel like your plate is 95% rice. Biryani is a classic for a reason, and I thought I’d spread the good word now that I’ve been won over.

Chicken Biryani

So in case you never have had biryani (or good biryani, for that matter), this is a popular dish in many countries with many different styles of preparation. I only know it through Indian cuisine, so that’s the perspective I bring to this. You have long grain basmati rice, cooked like any other rice with a handful of spices infusing the grains for flavor. But this is merely a foundation–not… click to read more…

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Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: The Whole Enchilada

I’ve mentioned before that this is a year of change for my wife and I. One of those changes is my wife’s graduation from medical school. We’ve had a somewhat infrequent tradition with some of her friends from school where we’d have them over and I’d go to town fussing over a nice meal. Before everyone heads in different directions to the next step of their careers (side note: we’ll be headed to the Raleigh/Durham region of North Carolina and I’m looking for new opportunities), we thought it would be nice to have one more of these nice meals so everyone could enjoy good food, good company, and just spend some time relaxing and catching up in ways that just aren’t so possible in the day-to-day hustle and bustle.

Enchilada dinner spread

So for this meal, given my newish interest in Mexican food, I decided to center this dinner around a Mexican theme where the focus would be some really… click to read more…

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